Auschwitz was the largest camp of its kind established by the Nazi regime.
There were three main camps near the city of Oswiecim. These were named Auschwitz l in 1940, Auschwitz ll (also called Auschwitz-Birkenau) in 1941, and Auschwitz lll (also called Auschwitz-Monowitz) in 1942.
Commissions determined the death toll at the three main Auschwitz camps to be between 1.25 million and 1.5 million people, which included mainly Jews, Poles, Roma and Sinti, Soviet POWS, and political prisoners.
Auschwitz l was created for 3 main purposes: 1. to incarcerate perceived enemies of the Nazi regime. 2. to use the "prisoners" for forced labor. 3. to serve as a kill site
Auschwitz ll (Auschwitz-Birkenau) had the largest total prisoner population and was a great killing facility. In 1941, Zyklon B gas was introduced as a way of mas extermination and four large crematoriums were a large part of this whole process. The gassing continued until 1944.
Auschwitz lll (Buna or Monowitz) was mainly used for the manufacturing of synthetic rubber and fuels. It had a so-called Labor Education Camp that was designated to non-Jewish prisoners. These prisoners were people who supposedly violated German-imposed labor discipline.
Survivors: Roman Polanski: Film actor, director (alive) bottom middle. Imre Kertész: author, journalist (dead) left middle. Dr. Ruth Westheimer: radio talk show host, television personality, journalist (alive) top middle. Elie Wiesel: writer (dead) bottom right. Primo Levi: journalist, chemist, scientist, poet (dead) right middle. Simon Wiesenthal: activist (dead) bottom left. Jerzy Kosinski: author (dead) top right. Tom Lantos: US Representative (dead) top left